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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Gearing Up For School...

The new school year starts 8/27 and it’s time to gear up to be ready for it.

By “gear up”, I mean that in the literal sense. I was hoping to make it through at least one more year with “school car”, but in the last month or so I seem to have lost 40% of the gears on my manual stick Saturn and it also, desperately, needs new tires.

Try accelerating from the stop light when it goes green while the guy behind you starts honking because you stalled it trying to start in 3rd gear.

I finally took it in to the local mechanic this week to see just how much damage to the bank account it was going to take to restore 1st and 2nd gears.

My dilemma comes down to deciding if I should dump the required cash for repairs to keep it going for another year or attempt to replace it with someone else’s decent ride that might be in better condition for about the same money? If I have transmission problems I know that’s BIG bucks. (…and not FUJI bucks, either)

Luckily, the problem turned out to be a broken shifter. The transmission and clutch are still just fine. It looks like the $250 to get it back functioning is still worth keeping it.

Now I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that “school car” doesn’t get a flat before the first new school year subbing check shows up at the end of September.

If I can hold out for a while maybe I can get me a NEW cheap Tata Motors putt putt.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Carnival of Education -- Issue 129

The 129th issue of Carnival of Education is on the bookshelves right next to that new gardening book that seems very popular these days.

Something about a guy named Harry and his job as a potter.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Math Methods Lead to Madness…

I’m not a lone critic of the push to have elementary schools adopt constructivist math instruction like TERC (pronounced "turk") Investigations or Everyday Mathematics as a replacement for traditional multiplication and division instruction.

Take a look at a few demonstration samples of what I’m talking about:

Can you readily explain how and/or why these methods work at a level I can use for 4rd graders?

Frankly, learning a method without understanding the “how” or more importantly, the “why” is just as cryptic as the one “Ma&Pa Kettle” demonstrates for us:

Although, I did find this one has potential if it can be demonstrated as reliable and repeatable:

(Calculator method)


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Being Paranoid?

It's probably just a coincidence that my “Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teacher Permit” arrived in the mail on the same day as someone from the Santa Clara County Office of Education visited the blog.

But then again...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Pray For One Hour?

Lesson plan entry for substitute teacher:
01:00pm - Pray for one hour

She thought is was a typo that might have been:
01:00pm - "Play for one hour"


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Substitute Teacher Credential Rip-off…

One of the irksome facets of substitute teaching in California, is that I have to renew my “Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teacher Permit” each year to be eligible to work. The renewal fee is about ½ a day’s pay.

I have to pay THEM for the privilege of working and it’s not even deductible.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Murphy Bed Sofa Combo...

We just returned from our timeshare week at the Kaua'i Marriott Beach Club and could bore everyone with the day by day minutia of each fantastic adventure but I shall resist. The pictures in the last post speak for themselves.

The only unique feature worthy of interest (at least to me) is a new take on the "old sofa bed for the guests" feature. We shared our accommodations with my cousin and her husband. They report that the "Murphy bed sofa combo" is a HIT!

See the conversion in action: